You, Me and the Apocalypse is a bold, adrenaline-fuelled comedy-drama about the last days of mankind – boasting a relentlessly entertaining mix of action, adventure, romance and wit set against a backdrop of apocalyptic chaos.
The story follows an eclectic group of seemingly unconnected characters around the world as their lives start to intersect in the most unexpected ways, all triggered by the news that a comet is on an unavoidable collision course towards earth.
This is the first episode picking up after the fairly seismic revelations of last week; there was, obviously, a hell of a lot to live up to here. And I think it’s fair to say that this episode absolutely lived up to those expectations – I’d go so far as to say that it was the best episode of the series so far.
There were three main plot threads to this episode; the most important of which being, I think, the meeting between Jamie and Layla – which has been set up for a while now – and their inevitable confrontation. It was honestly fantastic; Layla is a rather wonderful, and very likeable character. There was a danger, I think, that perhaps the audience wouldn’t like her, given what happened between her and Jamie, but they’ve managed to avoid that entirely; Karla Crome, who plays Layla, gave a great performance. She’s a very charismatic character, in many regards – her courtroom scene is very endearing – but there’s a vulnerability to her which I think would earn her the sympathy of much of the audience.
Mat Baynton once again did a fantastic job with his dual role as the two twins; Jamie, dealing with further revelations about Layla, but at the same time overjoyed to meet his daughter, and Ariel, who remains a complete psychopath. It’s a testament to his acting that he can pull this off so well. Joel Fry was also rather wonderful, still; not just as part of a comic double act, but with his quiet conversation to Layla, about the pain she’s caused Jamie over the years. Really excellent stuff.
Stronger still, I’d say, was the Operation Saviour plot thread. Scotty has become one of my favourite characters, hands down; Kyle Soller did a great job of portraying Scotty agonising over his decisions, showing a genuine depth of internal conflict over whether or not he should turn Rhonda into the police. In the end, he did, because of course he did – it was the fate of the world. It was an absolutely tragic set of circumstances, but it was so well realised, in terms of the acting and the writing. An excellent piece of work from all involved.
That, in fact, was my favourite aspect of the episode – compelling though the meeting between Jamie and Layla was, the story of Scotty, Rhonda, Rajesh and General Gaines was thoroughly absorbing on a whole other level. Genuinely impressive stuff here. The final moment, where Gaines was able to set up a meeting between Rhonda, Scotty and Rajesh was lovely; melancholy and bittersweet, it was a rather wonderful moment.
Father Jude and Sister Celine ended up with the more comedic plotline this week; it turned out that the Messiah they were investigating this week was, in fact, hosting a large orgy. It was quite funny in place (”Ruthless, like Brangelina”), but also prompted Jude and Celine to finally formalise – and consummate – their relationship. Which is… well, it’s been inevitable from the start, and the pair certainly had chemistry together, but I do wonder if it was necessarily the most interesting path to lead the two characters down.
All in all, though, I really, really enjoyed this episode. Two very dramatic, compelling plotlines, and one entertaining and funny plotline. This is certainly the best episode so far.